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Tioga Center, New York

2012 NYS Central Region Champs

WELCOME TO TIOGA CENTRAL FOOTBALL. 2012 will mark the 57th season of Tioga Football. The Tioga Football program maintains a rich and proud tradition of hard hitting, winning, power football. Since the program began playing 11 man football in 1963 Tioga has won more games than any school in Section IV and has produced 41 individual football championships.


2011 & 2012 NYS Central Region Champs!


Lion Roar

Sunday, September 5



If there are any doubts about whether or not Tioga Central is a legitimate Section IV Division VIII and Class D championship contender this season, it should have been erased by a dominating defense which produced six turnovers in a 32-0 non-league thrashing of Newark valey here Friday evening. However, if questions still linger, a pair of running backs who racked up four touchdowns and nearly 300 yards on the ground should take care of that. Sophomore Tyler Spires rambled for 171 yards and senior David Ulrich dashed for another 117 and added 24 more receiving. Meanwhile, Tioga’s starting defense held the Cardinals under 100 yards. Newark Valley had just 128 rushing and receiving for the entire game. “I thought the team played well and that’s what we’ve been working for all preseason in terms of playing together,” coach Nick Aiello said. “We had miscues on offense, but we picked it up on defense. Offense was sloppy, defense was good. Things are going to happen in a game that you’ve got to respond too and I thought our kids responded very well.” Aiello’s first game as head coach started nicely as Tioga took the onsides kick from NV and drove 52 yards in 11 plays, Ulrich capping it with a 4-yard run at 7:19. Cody Bennett’s PAT pass to Matt Stahl made it 8-0. Bennett and Ulrich kept the drive alive when they hooked up for a first down on a 4th-and-8 from NV’s 38 yard line. Next, it was time for the defense to shine. On the Cardinals’ fourth play from scrimmage, Tommy “T-Guns” Fergsuson came up with first of his three interceptions. “It starts up front,” Aiello said. “Our D line gets a lot of pressure and it makes it very easy for the linebackers and DBs to do their jobs. If we continue to play like that, control the line of scrimmage as well as play good solid defense behind them, we’re going to be alright.” “We have four guys up front that are the real deal,” Ulrich added. “It makes it easier on us DBs.” Defending against the Cardinals’ receivers appeared almost too easy for Ferguson, who stepped in front of another Troy Scheiss pass at the NV 33 in the second quarter. Tioga fumbled the ball back two plays later. Ferguson would snatch away his third interception late in the first half, coming down with the ball inside his own one yard line to thwart a Cardinal scoring threat. That close call was set up after Scheiss picked off Bennett at his own 23 and returned it to the Tioga 20. “I was surprised they threw that third pass to me,” Ferguson said. “When they threw that last interception I knew going into the next half they weren’t going to throw as much to my side. “I’m pretty happy with my performance,” he added. “There were a couple times when I should have come up and made the tackle, but I made up for it not giving the long ball.” The Tigers already had a 16-0 cushion before T-Guns’ second pick as Spires scored on a 10-yard run, dragging two defenders into the end zone at 8:01 of the second quarter. Bennett and Stahl hooked up for the conversion on that score as well. That TD was set up after Adam Strong recovered a deflected NV punt out of the shotgun formation at the Cardinal 19. The Tigers bumped their advantage to 24-0 at 6:56 of the third quarter when Ulrich bulled his way in from the four. Bennett scored on a keeper for the PAT. Spires set up the TD with a long run to the NV five. Tioga’s drive on its next possession was eerily similar to the previous one, with Spires scoring from four yards out and Ulrich setting it up with a long run to the NV five. Spires added the PAT for a 32-0 lead at 1:17 of the period. Newark Valley threatened twice in the final stanza against the host’s second defense. Freshman Ryan Verguson ended the first threat with a picture-perfect over-the shoulder diving interception at his own16. The Cardinals had on more opportunity and it looked like they would erase the goose egg when Austin Argente snagged a short pass and fought off the Tioga defense for a 46-yard gain to the Tioga 16. However, Strong knocked the ball free while sacking Mason Shutts and Justin Relyea recovered the loose pigskin to preserve the shut out. It capped a night where, in addition to Feguson’s sticky-finger show, several Tigers racked up impressive tackling stats. Nick Talcott led the way with 13 and Tyler Wiseman contributed 10. Kodi Floyd and Spires added nine apiece while Derak Heyman and Chad Hulbert had seven each. Thirteen other players recorded tackles as well. Derrek Jorgeson had a fumble recovery also. Despite the one-sided victory, Tioga knows there is still work to be done. “On offense we’ve got to watch the ball and listen to the cadence. Penalties killed us,” Ferguson said. “Defense played well. Offense, we’ve got a lot of work to do on Monday.” Despite the mistakes, the offense did a nice job blocking for Tioga’s vaunted power running game. “The line was blocking,” Ulrich said. “Our other backs, they were blocking real well too, letting Tyler and I run the ball very effectively.” “I don’t know if Tioga is used to that, but we have the luxury this year of having two tailbacks that can run the ball and they’re game-breakers, but we’ve got a good line,” said Aiello. “We’ve got to give them a lot of credit for opening up the holes and making it easy for those backs to run through.” Tioga visits Odessa-Montour on Friday at 7 p.m. — — — IN TOP PHOTO: Tyler Wiseman (61) and Derak Heyman sandwich a Newark Valley ball carrier. MIDDLE PHOTO: Tioga fans look on as Matt Stahl makes a diving catch during a PAT. BOTTOM PHOTO: David Ulrich breaks into the open field. … PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR



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